HC Deb 26 February 1917 vol 90 cc1690-1

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he will state the circumstances under which Lieutenant and Quartermaster W. A. Martin, 14th reserve battalion London Regiment (London Scottish), was gazetted out of the Army on 7th January, 1917, on account of ill-health; whether this action was taken without the knowledge of his commanding officer and himself; whether the Gazette notice appeared several days before the expiration of a month's leave of absence advised on 13th December, 1916, for the purpose of recovering from a slight illness; whether the action of the authorities implies any reflection on the character and ability of Lieutenant Martin; and whether, in view of the services of this officer, and, in particular, of his recruiting record, both before and during the War, and the business capacity he has shown, the whole circumstances will be revised by the War Office?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Macpherson)

Lieutenant Martin was reported by a medical board to be permanently unfit for general and home service. I am informed that he was advised to undergo an operation, which would probably have rendered him fit to continue in the Army, but that he was unwilling to give his consent. Without the operation he was considered by the medical authorities to be unfit for further military service. There was, therefore, no alternative but to gazette him out as relinquishing his commission on account of ill-health. The action taken implies no reflection whatever on this officer's capacity, efficiency, or integrity. On the contrary, in the notification of the position, the General Officer Commanding was requested to thank him for his good services and to inform him that, if his health improved up to the standard of general service, his reappointment would be reconsidered.


Would it not be possible, considering the good character of this gentleman, to utilise his services again in the public interest?


I hope so. But meanwhile he must get well again.


May I ask whether it is the normal course to invalid a man in this manner without communication either with himself or with his commanding officer?


I am told that his commanding officer was communicated with. I am inquiring into that particular point.